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Computational Science

Overview of Program

The major in computational science is a multidisciplinary program combining study in applied mathematics and computing and the use of knowledge and skills in those areas to solve problems in science. In this program, students take courses in mathematics and computer science and learn to create computer models to simulate real-world situations in one of the sciences: biology, chemistry or physics.

In the Classroom

Students take a core of 23 credits in mathematics and 23 credits in computer science, and then choose one of the following areas of concentration:

  • Molecular biology
  • Ecology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

Each student completes an interdisciplinary capstone project under the direction of two faculty advisers—one from mathematics or computer science and the other from the area of concentration.

Internships and Fellowships

Students who major in computational science have opportunities for internships at a wide range of corporations and institutions, as well as for fellowships and graduate programs at an array of prestigious institutions in the Frederick-Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area.


Many areas of science now face the need for computing and simulation. Large amounts of data are commonplace. A degree in computational science provides an in-demand set of skills and a level of expertise in this interdisciplinary field that melds mathematics, computer science and one of the sciences.

In biology, the genome sequencing projects have created a vast amount of data to be studied, while pharmaceutical design is now largely carried out using computer simulation. Environmental modeling allows us to extrapolate our environmental policies into the future.

Chemists use computer simulation to design custom molecular structures on the nanoscale, while physicists study large-scale simulations from weather systems to colliding galaxies.

The social sciences have embraced simulation to study financial markets, the migration of early tribes and the spread of disease across social net- works. Computer graphics and animation in video games, animated films and immersive simulations also provide exciting opportunities for computational science graduates.

Learn more about the major and the department.